Climate and emissions
Climate change has the potential to affect every aspect of our lives, from the health and integrity of natural systems, to economic prosperity and community health and wellbeing.
Responding effectively to climate change involves reducing greenhouse gas emissions and being ready to adapt to climate change impacts as they occur.
Council has been actively addressing climate change for many years and is involved in various initiatives such as the Cities Power Partnership Program and solar power roll-out.
Our Eurobodalla Emissions Reduction Plan sets out Council's response to climate change and includes two new targets:
- reduce Council's energy emissions from the 2005/2006 baseline by 80 per cent by 2030
- source 100 per cent of Council's electricity from renewable energy by 2030.
As part of the Plan, Council has already completed a number of actions to save energy and water and reduce Council greenhouse gas emissions.
The Eurobodalla Emissions Reduction Plan sets out Council's response to climate change. It aims to reduce the total Council energy emissions by 80% from the 2005/06 baseline by 2030, and source 100% of Council’s electricity from renewable energy by 2030.
The Plan details the actions that Council will take to achieve the emissions reduction target, and how we will support the community to respond to climate change. The Plan is about managing the financial costs related to Council's emissions, from operating the local water and sewer services, landfills, community pools and buildings, to the fuel related to maintaining the local roads. The Plan also builds on the achievements made under previous Greenhouse Action Plans over the period 2007 to 2017.
Key actions for Council to reduce emissions include:
- continued efforts in energy efficiency
- renewable energy
- reducing methane pollution from landfill
- investigating large-scale solar, battery storage and other renewable energy options
- facilitating electric car charging infrastructure
- developing a Council Climate Adaptation Strategy.
The outcomes achieved over the past 10 years has demonstrated that emission reductions can deliver both strong environmental and economic benefits. Completed actions have generated significant energy cost savings totalling over $1million per year.
Council will continue working on a range of strategies and implement a number of new actions detailed in the Plan.
Prior to its adoption by Council, the draft Plan attracted 27 submissions from the community and overwhelmingly supported Council's ongoing emissions reduction activities. The Climate Council of Australia was among those who made a submission, acknowledging Council's leadership in the field with an invitation to partner with other leading councils in the Cities Power Partnership Program.
Read the Plan
Eurobodalla Shire Council has joined other councils around Australia in pledging to cut energy emissions as part of the Cities Power Partnership Program.
An initiative of the Climate Council, the partnership brings together cities and towns around Australia that are leading the way in cutting their emissions. The partnership gives Council the chance to work with like-minded councils on new ways to reduce emissions, while making financial savings at the same time.
Council has pledged five key actions to reduce its climate impact:
- adopt best practice energy efficiency measures across all Council buildings, and support community facilities to adopt these measures
- power Council operations by renewable energy, and set targets to increase the level of renewable power for Council operations over time
- roll-out more energy-efficiency measures, including LED streetlights
- identify opportunities to turn waste to energy
- install renewable energy (solar PV and battery storage) on Council buildings.
You can find out more about the Cities Power Partnership and Council's involvement in the program:
Council has recently signed a 10-year agreement to source the bulk of its energy from renewables from July 2021. The Power Purchase Agreement was secured with renewable energy company Simply Energy, ENGIE, with help from Renewable Energy Hub.
Electricity generated by solar farms located at Parkes and Griffith, and from wind farms in the New England area due to come online in 2024, will supply 80 per cent of Council’s total electricity load for larger energy use sites such as the Moruya administration building, pools, libraries, water and sewer pump stations, treatment plants and our streetlights.
The move will reduce Council’s carbon emissions the equivalent to removing 1,000 cars from the road per annum. Council is now well on course to achieving our target of sourcing 100 per cent of Council’s energy from renewables by 2030 and reducing our CO2 emissions.
Council will continue to look for other opportunities to supply renewable energy for the remaining 20 per cent of Council's facilities, which are our smaller sites that use less power, like community halls and public toilets.
In 2013 Council began a sustainability project to target energy use in 50 community buildings, including Narooma Library and Hanging Rock Basketball Stadium. The process involved generating an energy report and retrofitting some water and energy efficient tools to help reduce energy use. The report highlighted potential works that Council could do to reduce operational costs further.
The project aimed to reduce CO2 by 365 tonnes and water use by 3,395 kL per year.
Twenty per cent of electricity used by Council is sourced from renewable energy. We have installed over 3,000 solar panels at 28 Council facilities across Eurobodalla Shire. The solar panels can produce over 750kW of power when the sun shines.
Using solar power saves over 1000 tonnes of carbon dioxide and over $180,000 a year in energy costs.
Council will continue to install proven, economically and technically feasible renewal energy technologies.
We’re developing a Climate Resilience Plan (the Plan) that will set out how Council and the wider community can build resilience to the changing climate and reduce carbon emissions.
The Plan follows on from our highly successful Emissions Reduction Plan 2017-21 but takes a broader look at how Council can support the wider community to take action, as well as further reduce its own footprint.
Topics in the Plan will include sustainable energy, transport, waste, ecosystem and land management and water-efficiency, as well as building design, infrastructure protection, community engagement and public spaces.
Preliminary work began back in 2019 and a community working group was established, however the project was put on hold due to bushfire recovery efforts and then COVID-19. Work has resumed and a draft Plan is expected to be considered by the newly-elected Council in early 2022.
Plan to reduce emissions
The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment has released the Net Zero Plan Stage 1: 2020-2030. The Plan is the foundation for NSW’s action on climate change and goal to reach net zero emissions by 2050. It outlines the NSW Government’s plan to grow the economy, create jobs and reduce emissions over the next decade.
Eurobodalla Council is playing an important role in this Plan. Council continues to implement a range of actions such as sourcing the bulk of its energy from renewables through a Power Purchase Agreement it recently secured.
Eurobodalla Council features in a series of videos about NSW councils taking action on emissions:
- T: 4474 1000
- E: Heidi Thomson